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What to consider when attending university open days

By Medical Physics and Biomedical Engineering, on 3 May 2022

Student ambassadors outside UCL holding a Ask Me signEveryone has their own concerns about university and what not. One big question that every student asks themselves is “How should I approach university open days?”. Firstly, it’s crucial to understand that open days are made for students and students are the center of attention. Obviously, students who attend these open days need to see whether this university is what they are looking for. But how can you do that?

  1. Make a list (whether it be a physical list or a note in your mind) of what you are looking for in a university. Some people want very academic universities that have very intense learning programmes, while others want a university that has a good academic approach, but that gives them the freedom to socialise more. Some people want big universities, other smaller ones.
  2. When preparing for a university open day it is a good idea to make a list of questions to ask. Take a note of the answers and see whether they match what you are looking for.

So, as you see there is nothing to worry about when going to an open day, and worst comes to worst you do not like the university and you do not apply there. But at least you had a good day vising the university!

Students sitting on the steps outside UCL in the sunshineAs to university applications, not to get philosophical or anything, but it is a good idea to pick based on your priorities and university is the best for you. It is very common to go for universities that have big names as there’s a perception that graduating from a big-name university automatically means you are successful. Of course, graduating from top universities plays a part in building a good network with people, but who said you cannot do that by graduating somewhere else?

Now, I can’t say what is best for you, it took me a lot of thinking and reflection to find out what is the best for me, and I am still learning. Trust me when I say, your mental wellbeing is very important. People seem to forget that when it comes to choosing a university. Yes, work hard and challenge yourself with a high-ranking university if you can, but remember a university is nothing more than a place, it is your adaptation to it that makes the difference. two friends sitting on the steps outside UCLTo ease off the anxiety that comes with the idea of university, there seems to be this idea that some universities are unreachable and impossible to get in, but the bigger picture is that those students studying there are just like you, yes you reading this. University is so much more than learning. It is about making friends and gaining experience while getting a taste of freedom and responsibility that comes with being a young adult.

Shake off the fears that come with the idea of university and remember all the universities are made for students and they are achievable with the right amount of dedication! Good luck!

This blog was written by Elio, MEng Biomedical Engineering

Photo credit: James Tye | UCL Welcome 2021

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